Necromancer Set Mastery

Screenshot058There is no fancy wing reward for mastering the Necromancer set dungeons, which partly led to me ignoring these set dungeons for so long. Like all of the other classes, there are still two banners to get though, one for basic completion and one for mastery. At this point there’s also the principle of the thing. I’ve come this far, I might as well master all of the available dungeons. Plus it is my secret hope that Blizz will continue to add more classes, and eventually add another cosmetic reward for mastering everything. In any case it’s finally done, and here’s how it went:

The free set for Season 11 was Rathma’s, so that’s where I started. The two objectives were to get a total of 500 seconds of cooldown reduction on army of the dead, and to summon 100 skeletal mages. The summoning part was easy, especially with the ring that summons an extra mage every time. The cd reduction was a bit trickier. On my first attempt I didn’t get anywhere close. The second attempt saw me get the objective but run out of time trying to mop up the required kills. I finally mastered it on the third try. The “trick”, which wasn’t really a trick, was to make sure I was using army of the dead immediately when it came off cd so I didn’t waste any cd reduction. I basically got to a big room full of enemies and let my skeletons swing at them until I got the objective done, then summoned tons of mages and mopped up. I waited to summon the mages since when they’re up the damage buff means things die before they contribute much to the cd objective. Not a bad dungeon at all, and I appreciated that both objectives tied to the set, and weren’t gimmicky “don’t get hit by X” type things.

I worked on the Inarius dungeon next. The objectives also both directly tied to the set bonus: rip the bones from 100 enemies and kill 200 enemies affected by a bone armor tornado. This one was incredibly easy. I had the full set but no other specific legendaries, I just used whatever I had laying around in the season. I went in blind to the map and I got the mastery on the first try. Killing enemies affected by bone armor tornado is super easy, it will pretty much happen naturally. Ripping the bones from enemies required a bit more care, mostly because I was killing things before I could group them up. It was definitely easier than Rathma’s dungeon so if you’re having trouble with that one try Inarius’ instead.


Next up was Trag’oul’s dungeon. This one requires you to spend, and then heal, 1,000% of your life with your abilities. I basically just went at a cautious pace, alternated blood nova and devour, and beat it in one try. The layout of the dungeon has some nooks and crannies for enemies to hide in, but as long as you don’t leave stragglers you should have plenty of time.

After how easy the first three dungeons were, I was pretty nervous that I had saved the hardest for last. In retrospect I should never have worried. It was way harder for some reason for me to actually farm up the full set and bother to try this dungeon than it was to master it. The Pestilence dungeon objectives are to hit enemies with 150 empowered bone spears, and to NOT take 400k damage. The first bit is the easy part, it will pretty much happen with any build that you would want to use in this dungeon. Avoiding damage wasn’t that bad either, I just had to play a bit conservatively and not rush into the middle of swarms and elites. I mastered this dungeon on the first try, with over a minute of time to spare. Easy as bone spear pie.


Overall the Necromancer set dungeons were some of the easiest in the game. The worse of this lot was definitely Rathma’s. I one-shot all of the others, so I guess they were all equally easy. You can find my thoughts on the other classes’ dungeons in this post from September. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to finish the Necromancer, especially with how easy the last dungeon was to master. It felt a bit anticlimactic after the long journey it took to get to this point. At least now I’m officially finished with set dungeons, at least until they release a new class!


January 2018 Gaming Goals

Happy new year! December was a month of mostly not meeting my goals. Let’s resolve to do better in 2018!

December Goals in review:

WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. Done! I’ve been chasing old transmog sets on my priest. As an extra bonus side project I’ve been trying to go through her tailoring and craft every item she still needs the appearance for too. It’s not super exciting but it is keeping me busy.

Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. Sort-of. I have explored some of the new expansion, but I still haven’t finished the story or moved on to the new grinds yet.

Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. Nope. I fully intended to do this over the holidays but I got distracted by other things.

January Goals:

WoW: See every Legion raid at least once, even if it’s just LFR. The last bits of the current WoW raid will be out for the LFR crowd this month. That means it’s time for me to see them. I still haven’t finished all the wings of the previous raid yet so I’ve got some queuing to do.

Destiny 2: Finish the Osiris storyline. I’ve been working through this with the spouse on my hunter and solo on my warlock. Hopefully I can finish both soon.

Diablo 3: Finish that last set dungeon already dang it. I have no motivation to play D3 right now but this goal has been on my list for months and it would feel great to knock it out.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Start playing the new DLC. I might not have time to finish it considering all the other things on my list this month, but I would at least like to see it.

Hollow Knight: Get to an ending. I picked this one up on the Steam holiday sale and have been loving it. I have a lot of trouble with the boss fights but I like everything else so much it balances out. I doubt I’ll ever get close to 100% completion, but I hope I can progress far enough to see an ending.

December 2017 Gaming Goals

Another month has come and gone, so it’s time to reflect on what I’ve been up to and what my new plans are.

November Goals in Review:

WoW: Get the warrior to 110. Done! I got my class mount too!

Destiny 2: Try the raid. Done! I haven’t completed it yet but I have at least seen it a few times.

Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. Nope. I did get the set farmed up on my seasonal necro, so I’m closer than I was before.

Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. Done!

December Goals:

WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. A goal to set a goal? WTF? Well after finishing up the last class story and mount, I realized I was flailing around with no direction. I need a really long-term project to chip away at every month, and I have no idea what the next one should be. It doesn’t help that what I really want to do is level a new alt to try out the new low-level zone scaling tech, but we’re not sure exactly when that patch is coming.

Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. I somewhat object to them calling these “expansions” but whatever. There are going to be new things to do and new gear to get. My excitement over D2 has died down but I at least want to see the new stuff.

Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. No excuses left at this point, I just need to sit down for an evening and knock this out.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. I had this preordered and I just haven’t had time to sit down and dig into it. I want to do that ASAP because I absolutely love this game and can’t wait to explore new parts of the world.

November was surprisingly productive, considering my play time has been dramatically lower than normal. Here’s hoping my December goals go well too.



Diablo 3 Season 12

Last Thursday was the start of Diablo 3’s Season 12. Once again I abandoned my paragon levels and stash full of ancient legendaries so I could start fresh. This time around I am playing a necromancer. My thought was this was the only class I haven’t finished all the set dungeons for, so if I can get all the pieces I need I can knock that out as part of the season journey and check off one of my long-term goals.

I haven’t been very engaged with D3 lately, and even though I’m participating in the season it is not my gaming focus. Still, I managed to knock out the first four chapters of the season journey over the weekend. That earned me my cosmetic rewards, which include a nice portrait and a sweet set of druid-themed wings.

I don’t have any plans to push much farther into the journey, but I’ve been enjoying myself enough to keep playing for now. I got a carry from a friend which helped beef up my paragon levels a bit, and can solo T8 without breaking a sweat. I don’t love the blood magic theme of the free set necromancers get this season, but I don’t have a full set of anything else yet. I need to get a few more key pieces of gear so I can handle T13 and push greater rifts. We’ll see if I stick with this season long enough to do that, or if I wander back to Destiny 2 where all my friends are right now.


November 2017 Gaming Goals

What is it about getting older that makes the months seem to go by in a blur? Probably the lack of sleep from playing too many games. Anyway it’s time to review my October goals and make some new ones for November.

October Goals in Review:

WoW: Level either my warrior or my horde monk to 60. Done! I did even better and got my warrior to 100 and got her artifact.

Get at least one more of the concordance pet/mount/toy rewards I’m missing. Done! I think I actually have all of the concordance rewards now, unless there’s one for warriors that I’m not aware of.

D3: Master the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope. I didn’t get much D3 time in this month at all.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Done!

Destiny 2: Hit the level cap. Done!

November Goals:

WoW: Get the warrior to 110. This should be reasonable to do in a weekend, especially if I can catch some invasions and/or the darkmoon faire. Once I get her class mount I can call Legion “finished” as far as I’m concerned.

Destiny 2: Try the raid. I’m having a blast in D2 so far and I want to capitalize on the fact that so many of my friends are playing right now too. I still have no illusions about being hardcore or good at this game, but I’d like to at least see what a raid in Destiny looks like.

Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. I really do want to knock this out and put set dungeons behind me forever (until new classes or sets come along anyway).

Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. I’m not really feeling D3 much right now but a new season starts soon and I want to try to get the cosmetic goodies during the initial rush like I usually do. There’s new wings this season and I don’t want to miss out on them!

That’s a very modest list for November, hopefully that will set me up for success!


October 2017 Gaming Goals

Another month, another round of gaming goals. I was surprisingly productive in WoW last month, and also knocked out one very large long-term D3 goal. What’s in store this month?

September Goals in Review:

WoW: Get my shaman class mount. Done! DK mount too!

Do more Robosquids stuff. Nope. With the GW2 expansion and Destiny 2 releases, we just couldn’t get everyone together to play.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Finish a second playthrough to see all the updates. Nope. I made a bunch of progress on it though. I’m enjoying this replay and don’t want to rush.

D3: Finish the Barbarian set mastery. Done! This is one of the most satisfying gaming goals I’ve ever achieved. Those set mastery wings were worth it!

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Done!

October Goals:

WoW: Level either my warrior or my horde monk to 60. I’ve been bouncing between these two characters and I want to pick one and get some solid leveling done.

Get at least one more of the concordance rewards I’m missing. I’ve gotten most of the mounts, pets, and toys for the characters I have at 110. My rogue is still missing 2 mounts, and I don’t have any of the hunter rewards yet, so those are what I need to focus on this month.

D3: Master the last Necromancer set dungeon. I went digging through my achieves and realized I’m only missing one mastery for the Necro. There’s no fancy rewards for mastering all the Necromancer dungeons, but it just doesn’t feel right to leave this unfinished.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Wait wasn’t this a goal I completed last month? Yes but… it turns out I’ll be getting a new phone soon, and plan to switch from iOS to Android. That means starting over. Ugh. I’ve been messing around with the game on my (android) tablet some already, so hopefully in a month I can get mostly caught back up.

Destiny 2: Hit the level cap. The game launches late in the month, and I don’t want to rush myself.  I do expect to be spending a lot of quality time with it though, so I think this goal is reasonable in a week of play time.


Set Mastery Wrap-Up

Screenshot051I finally finished my goal of getting some sweet wings by mastering all of the (pre-necromancer) set dungeons in Diablo 3. When set dungeons were first announced and they previewed those wings, I knew I had to have them. Unfortunately when set dungeons actually launched I did not enjoy them at all. There’s been a set dungeon requirement in every season since they debuted in early 2016, and it has always been one of the season journey tasks I’ve dreaded. I think that completing the full season journey in season 10 gave me the confidence and drive I needed to dust off this goal and get moving on it.

Working on set dungeon mastery made me realize that I needed to adjust my outlook and playstyle drastically in order to succeed. In a strange way the set dungeons remind me of PvP in MMOs, because you are playing the game in a different way than you are used to, and because you have to make your peace with the fact that you’re going to die a lot but dying is only a temporary setback. Making it all the way through a dungeon only to realize that you never found enough big groups to finish one of your objectives feels bad, but eventually you learn to weigh your success after the first minute of the dungeon or so, and just start over if you got an unlucky spawn. Also like PvP, knowing the map ahead of time and using it to your advantage will make life far easier. I generally tried to run each dungeon blind on my first attempt, but after that I looked up a map and planned out my route.

Having the right gear and builds is a huge part of this process, but I also found that, with a few exceptions, you shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good. You need your set pieces to unlock the dungeon, and there are often 1 or 2 key legendaries that really make the objectives possible. Anything after that will make your clears easier, but is probably not required. There were several times when I had looked up the gear list* for a particular build and spent hours trying to farm specific items, then finally gave up and just ran with whatever I had laying around and it worked fine.


Speaking of gear, I got very good at farming during this project. Unless you’re aiming for a set mastery conquest, I would highly suggest using non-seasonal characters. On some classes, like my witch doctor, I already had almost everything I needed in my stash, and it was just a matter of running a few rifts with her to get the last few pieces. For monk and barbarian, which I had barely leveled to 70 before and had no clue how to play, farming everything was a more daunting proposition. My method was to primarily use my demon hunter to fill up to capacity on blood shards, then swap to the other class and take my chances with Kadala. If you had a buddy willing to carry you around, farming T13 on the correct class would be optimal. I used a combination of solo greater rifts, so I could get shards quickly and level up gems, and T13 farming with random strangers so I could also pick up plenty of death’s breaths. Just like farming on a fresh seasonal character, I used Kadala for armor and upgraded rare items in the cube for weapons and jewelry. Doing it non-seasonal meant that I had plenty of mats for hellfire amulets, and staples like focus/restraint laying around which saved me a lot of time.

This was a huge project and honestly at this point I’m very glad that it is over. It was occasionally fun, and sometimes frustrating. On average it was more entertaining than I expected it to be but I’m in no hurry to go through this again. On the plus side it did force me to try out almost all of the different classes and playstyles in the game. Only the necromancer is left, and I’m curious whether I will ever bother to master those dungeons since there’s no pretty wings to get. For now I’m going to savor this accomplishment and take a much-needed break from set dungeons.


*I used a bunch of sources to help me choose gear and skills along the way, but I want to give a special shout-out to Team BRG which was the most useful, clear, and organized. Most importantly, they included maps with optimal clear paths. I could have finished my mastery without their guides, but it would have been a much more painful process.

Collected posts for each class:

Demon Hunter: Easiest – Natalya’s; Hardest – Marauder’s

Wizard: Easiest – Delsere’s; Hardest – Vyr’s

Crusader: Easiest – Invoker’s; Hardest – Akkhan’s

Witch Doctor: Easiest – Zunimassa’s; Hardest – Helltooth

Monk: Easiest – Sunwuko’s; Hardest – Inna’s

Barbarian: Easiest – Immortal King’s Call; Hardest – Wrath of the Wastes


Barbarian Mastered


Barbarian. The last of the RoS-era Diablo 3 classes that I still needed to master for my wings. There was some misery to be had here, partly because I really have no clue how to play a barbarian and partly because of the dungeons being awful.

I had most of the Might of the Earth set laying around, so I focused on that dungeon first. This one was very hard for me. The objectives were to use leap, ground stomp, and earthquake in under 6 seconds on every elite, and to freeze and kill at least 1 enemy every 10 seconds for one minute. These felt pretty daunting, especially since I don’t know much about playing a barbarian. On my first attempt I got the freeze objective but didn’t even hit a single elite with the required 3 attacks. As I kept attempting it, I lost count of my failures. Either the elites would die too quickly, or more often the cooldown on earthquake would not quite be finished when I engaged the next elite. The map is quite large but I got used to it over the course of many attempts, and when I finally mastered it I had almost a minute leftover. Success came when I slowed down and made sure all my abilities were ready before I engaged each elite.

Second on the list was the Immortal King’s Call. This one goes up there with the Invoker’s set dungeon on the list of the easiest ones to master. Your objectives are to kill all of the elites while the 400% damage bonus from the set is active, and to kill 150 enemies while Wrath of the Berserker is active. I one-shot this one, without looking at the map and without even really taking the time to familiarize myself with the requirements or my abilities. I had an entire minute left on the timer too. If you’re looking for an easy one to complete your season’s journey, this is a good bet.

Raekor’s was up next. The objectives are to hit 15 different enemies with a single furious charge (x6), and to hit 15 enemies with a 3750% damage bonus spender. Both objectives were pretty easy independently, but it took 2 tries to get both done and still have enough kills for the mastery. The map is one big loop so it is deceptively simple, but there are a lot of corners and side passages for mobs to hide in. Luckily all those corners also make it pretty easy to group up enough to hit with your furious charge. Overall this one wasn’t bad.

The very last dungeon I needed to complete Barbarian mastery and to complete the achievement for all the pre-necromancer masteries was the Wrath of the Wastes dungeon. Little did I know that it is hands down the worst set dungeon in the game. The first objective isn’t too bad, Rend 10 enemies at once (x5). There’s plenty of enemies and once you get the hang of the layout you’ll know exactly where you’re likely to find big enough groups. And you will be learning the layout. Intimately. Because the second objective is awful and you will fail a lot, or at least I did. “Do not take any physical damage for the duration of the dungeon. A tiny goblin hits you? Fail. A swinging scythe hits you? Fail. Something sneezes in your general direction? Fail. After about 3 attempts I got my fancy Wings of the Dedicated (for completing every set dungeon). They’re very pretty but sadly I’ll probably never wear them since the mastery ones are way cooler. It took me three hours and I don’t know how many attempts to actually master this dungeon. All I can say is pray to RNGsus and be super careful.


They’re not the mastery wings, but they are still very pretty…

And with that I have completed all of the set masteries except the Necromancer. Some of the Barbarian ones were rough for me, even more so than the monk. They certainly did nothing to make me want to play this class in the future. At this point I wish I had saved something I like better for last, but for now I’m glad it’s over. I’ll be sharing some of my overall thoughts in a follow-up post soon.


September 2017 Gaming Goals

Oh crap it’s September already! Aside from the semester starting and my stress levels kicking into overdrive, it also means it’s time for my monthly gaming goals update.

August Goals recap:

FFXIV: Level my AST. I did it! Hooray! I still can’t decide whether I like AST or SCH better though.

Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. Nope. We got the first boss down to something ridiculous like 0.1%, but that group ended up disbanding. Sadness.

Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. Nope. I’ve been super unmotivated in D3 and combined with terrible luck with drops I still don’t have the last set I need to try the 4th dungeon.

WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. Yes! We got through Blackfathom Deeps and Gnomergan this month. News flash: I still hate Gnomer just as much as I ever have (which is a lot).

I got half of my goals for the month done. That’s not too terrible!

September Goals:

WoW: Get my shaman class mount. I leveled her up to 110 in August. Now it’s a matter of gearing up and getting through the Broken Shore quests to unlock the mount questline.

Do more Robosquids stuff. I’ve been loving this project but it’s hard to find times when all 4 of us can play. I resolve to pester my friends until we get it back on the schedule. (You’ve been warned, guys!)

Horizon Zero Dawn: Finish a second playthrough to see all the updates. It’s this month’s Aggrochat game of the month so I’m doubly motivated!

D3: Finish the Barbarian set mastery. I know I can do this. I just need a push. And I really need to get it done before Destiny 2 releases on PC and starts filling the “murder monsters, get loot explosion” slot in my gaming time.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Legendary: Game of Heroes is a mobile game with a super boring name and very sticky gameplay for me. It’s like a much slicker-looking, slightly less confusing Puzzle and Dragons. The weekly-ish events give pretty good chances at strong cards and materials to upgrade them, so hopefully I can get a maxed-out team by the end of the month.

You’ll note that FFXIV has fallen off the list. I’m just not into it lately, and forcing myself right now is likely to end in a full stop instead of a brief pause. I do still want to try to show up for raid nights more to hang out with my friends than anything else.

I think this month’s goals are pretty reasonable. I just need to remember to play HZD for the main story and not all the side content or there’s no way I’ll finish in time…


August 2017 Gaming Goals

I’m a few days late with this one since I’ve been AFK for most of this week. I had set a few somewhat ambitious goals for July and did a decent job on them. Let’s see what August brings!

July Goals recap:

FFXIV: Clear both EX primals.  Check! I still haven’t done this with a FC group, but I did at least get my kills.

Advance at least one of my Anima weapons at least one step. Nope. I dialed my play time back and mostly focused on current content.

Level my AST.  Not really. I did get a couple levels, but AST is still not 70. The problem here is that they fixed some of the problems with scholar, so I felt way less motivated to have the 2nd healer job.

Figure out how to buy a house. I do know how to buy a house now so I’ll count this as a win. I haven’t actually bought one because I’m still waiting for people to move out to the new zone so I can find open property in Mists.

Diablo 3: Complete the basic season 11 journey with a necromancer. Done! I haven’t gone much past the first 4 chapters but this is still a win.

Complete the challenge rift every week. Nope. I did attempt it every week, but last week’s build was really difficult and I didn’t manage to clear it under the timer.

Master all the crusader set dungeons. Done! I was an overachiever and got monk and witch doctor too!

August Goals:

FFXIV: Level my AST. I’m so close it really is silly that I still haven’t finished this.

Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. This might be a matter of flinging myself at pugs until I smash through, but I’d love to get this done.

Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. I’ve only got one barbarian dungeon left to master in order to get my fancy wings. It might mean giving up on much seasonal progress this time around, but I can do this!

WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. There’s an awful lot of dungeons left for our little undergeared, underleveled, undersized group to get through, and now that the new game shine is starting to fade from Stormblood I’m ready to jump back in.

I think these are pretty modest goals for the month, and they’re all things that I really do want to get around to. I can’t wait to post about my pretty new wings!